Friday, August 3, 2012

50 Greatest Soap Couples: #19 Steve & Kayla From DAYS OF OUR LIVES

COUPLE: Steve 'Patch' Johnson & Kayla Brady
RANK: 19
Steve: Stephen Nichols
Kayla: Mary Beth Evans
YEARS: 1986-1990; 2006-2009; 2011-2012 (Kayla only)

Steve had been in the merchant marines with Bo Brady (Peter Reckell) and came to town with a vendetta against Bo over a girl they both loved, Britta.  A year later Kayla returned to Salem, met Steve (aka Patch) and they fell in love.  Steve kept himself at a distance though due to troubled memories from his past while Kayla became friends with his brother, Jack Deveraux (aka Billy Johnson, played by Matt Ashford ).   Jack was suffering from Hodgkins disease and Steve pushed Kayla to marry him thinking Jack was dying.   After Kayla's wedding to Jack, she began having an affair with Steve.  Outraged after finding out, a bitter Jack raped Kayla.  Kayla left Jack and had him charged with the crime, but he managed to use his connections to avoid going to jail.

Kayla was then attacked by the Riverfront Knifer and lost her hearing and speech.   Surgery repaired her hearing but not her speech.  Kayla and Steve planned on marrying and during the ceremony Kayla was finally able to speak again.   Later, Steve's first wife, Marina Toscano, arrived and since they were still married, he had to help her in order to get a divorce.  She was ultimately killed with a pregnant Kayla standing trial for the murder.  Kayla was sent to prison leaving Steve to raise their newborn baby, Stephanie.  Kayla was eventually freed and Steve and Kayla were married for real.  Steve joined the police force but was injured (and later died thanks to Lawrence Alamain) in a boat explosion.  Sixteen years later Steve turned up very much alive with no memory of his past.  When it returned the couple reunited.  They left town a few years later and when Kayla returned in 2011 it was without Steve.  Eventually Kayla revealed they had been having trouble and filed for divorce.

Patch and Kayla were an instant hit with fans as she brought out his soft and vulnerable side.  When the couple married in July 1988, DAYS OF OUR LIVES finished No. 1 in the ratings for that week for the first time in 14 years (the show hasn't achieved that ranking again).

Evans and Nichols were voted Favorite Super Couple: Daytime at the 1989 Soap Opera Digest Awards and nominated again in 1990.   Nichols won three Digest Awards for his work and was nominated for an Emmy as well.

Their popularity and incredible chemistry led GENERAL HOSPITAL to bring both actors to the show in the 1990s. Fans never stopped requesting the couple be reunited which finally resulted in their 2006 return to DAYS.

From Patrick Erwin (A THOUSAND OTHER WORLDS): The '80s action-adventure stories that DAYS told were never my cup of tea, but Patch and Kayla transcended the twists and turns and unrealistic obstacles with a genuine love for each other. When they were together, you felt like each had found in the other something they’d been searching for their whole lives.

Steve & Kayla's first year (1986)
Steve and Kayla "The Lady in Red" (1987)
Steve and Kayla's wedding (1988)
Kayla faints after seeing Steve (2006)

Share your thoughts on Steve and Kayla in our Comments section below or on our message board.

- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actors: The Complete List
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- THE COMPLETE LIST: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History


  1. That wedding always makes me cry.

  2. Are you sure it was July 1998 and not July 1988 that Steve and Kayla got married, Roger?

  3. They should NOT be divorced! That is WRONG! Steve and Kayla forever!

  4. Still waiting on who's no.18 on this list!

  5. I always enjoyed this couple, they were amazing.

  6. Steve and Kayla have always been my favorite of the Days couples from the 80's. There was something so honest and relatable about the characters and the actors (and the whole Johnson family story that the pairing unfolded within). Sure, it had its sensational moments, but they came from a different place than soap drama today. In the light of the way the genre changed in the 90's, it holds a special place in my heart.

    With the economic crisis, I've often wished in recent years that soaps would take a page from this story. The use of class was masterful back then. But I'm not sure it would translate for today's audience.

  7. I'm truly surprised they are not higher on the list. Isn't their wedding the highest rated DOOL episode ever and one of the top 5 highest rated soap weddings? I think that is cause for top 10 personally. I love them!